Everybody loves Elmo!
The United War Veterans Council and producers of the annual NYC Veterans Day Parade enlisted Sesame Street’s iconic red Muppet character Elmo, to put smiles on the faces of military children and families of Fort Hamilton.
Elmo delivered hugs and spread cheer to the base community on Wednesday, November 5. The children ranged in age from six weeks to five years old. Marleen ‘Molly’ Levi, communications director of the United War Veterans Council and project/volunteer manager of NYC Veterans Day Parade, said of the event, “It was so touching and embraced in patriotic pride.”
The overall response from the children and community was pure bliss. Jennifer Sereni, Sesame Street coordinator, corporate communications, said, “The children and caregivers were thrilled to see Elmo at their center. All of the children were so adorable interacting with Elmo.”
Events like this are particularly meaningful, noted Child Development Center Director Eileen Mora. “We service military families, they serve and protect us, and we like to thank them as much as we can,” she explained.
The Sesame Street team agreed. Sereni stressed, “It’s extremely important to show our appreciation for our troops and veterans. Sesame Street has lots of fun resources that families can do together.” They have a program called ‘Talk, Listen, Connect’ to help military children tackle the tough topics of deployment, homecomings and death, and in the DVDs, Elmo’s father is deployed. “Elmo’s story resonates with these children,” Sereni said.
“It’s wonderful to bring joy to the children,” Levi concluded. “The military children are special in the sense that their family members are serving our country and events like this help them remember they are embraced, loved and appreciated.”